Classic Cars

Auction, 0216

JAGUAR XK 140 OTS (1956)

80.000 / 120.000
Price realized  Registration

JAGUAR XK 140 OTS (1956)


CHASSIS N. 813056







At the 1948 London Motor Show Jaguar presented the prototype of a sports vehicle that was destined to arouse a lot of interest, particularly in its new twin-cam engine, to be mounted on a saloon car that was scheduled to be launched soon after.

The prototype XK120 was so successful that Jaguar was forced to hurriedly put it into production without being able to develop and improve a project that had been prepared and designed for just a very small series.

During the production of the XK120, all the improvements from which the vehicle would have benefitted in terms of comfort, drivability or even simplicity of production and maintenance, were concentrated on the subsequent model - the XK140 - of which we are today proud to propose an excellent example. Built between 1954 and 1957, the XK 140 OTS (Open Two Seater) of which just 3281 were left-hand drive models, is much rarer than the XK 120 with left-hand drive, of which 6437 were built.

The vehicle proposed here, chassis N. 813056, was manufactured on 6/12/56 and sent to the Jaguar Arnolt dealership in Chicago. It is important to note that some of the original documents are also supplied with the car including the certificate of Origin from the Jaguar Heritage Trust, the shipping bill, a series of tags present on the car upon delivery and the purchase invoice.

‘Wacky’ Arnolt was a famous character in the world of sports cars and racing on the East Coast of America: amongst other things he inspired a series of cars with English mechanics and bodywork realized in Turin by Bertone, which still today make him a protagonist in the auto collectors’ world. Therefore the documented origins increase the value of this Jaguar.

Mechanically speaking, the XK 140 was very similar to the 120, but the vehicle offered here is part of the group of XK 140 cars ordered with the “Type C” head derived directly from those used on the Jaguar C Type cars – multi-winners at Le Mans. These heads gave the engine better breathing, increasing the power from 190 to 210 horsepower and bringing the classic six cylinder XK closer to that of a racing car, even though it has only two carburetors. The steering was completely revamped to give a more modern level of drivability. The rear lever arm shock absorbers were replaced by two telescopic units: much more cutting edge and high performing. With regard to the bodywork, the XK 140 had bigger bumpers and a decidedly more comfortable passenger compartment also thanks to the repositioning of the engine and the modifications to the steering wheel and seats.

The vehicle offered was imported to Italy many years ago and purchased by the current owner around six years ago. It has always been kept in excellent condition and has undergone some modifications to increase performance and safety including a direct stainless steel exhaust system with ‘bunch of bananas’ manifold. Used for leisure purposes and on the occasion of some regularity rallies, the vehicle presents itself very well and has a red leather interior that – having been renewed some years ago – now offers the right ‘patina’, this car is eligible for the Mille Miglia.

The vehicle is in excellent mechanical condition but, for safety reasons, we advise the purchaser to have it checked over and to replace the fluids, filters and perishable elements.